The Supreme Court is poised to reject Biden’s student loan forgiveness proposal to erase or reduce student loans held by millions of Americans. Conservative justices hold the majority and in arguments that lasted more than three hours, Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative colleagues questioned the administration’s authority to cancel federal student loans broadly due to the COVID-19 emergency.
Without the loan relief promised by the Biden plan, delinquencies and defaults will surge, warned the administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer. The plan, which the administration says is grounded in a 2003 law enacted in response to military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, is estimated to cost $400 billion over 30 years. In this article, we will discuss the Supreme Court’s questioning of the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program and its potential impact on millions of Americans who have applied for relief.
What is President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan?
The Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan is part of a broader effort to address economic inequality and the student debt crisis in the US. The plan seeks to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loans for eligible borrowers and to provide relief to those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that 26 million people have applied for student loan forgiveness under the plan.
Why is the Supreme Court questioning the Biden plan?
Conservative justices on the Supreme Court have raised questions about the Biden administration’s authority to cancel federal student loans on such a broad scale. Chief Justice Roberts led the charge in questioning the administration’s justification for the plan, suggesting that it would cost a half-trillion dollars and that the administration should have gotten explicit approval from Congress.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh expressed similar concerns, suggesting that the administration had exceeded its authority and that the program might be on less firm legal ground than other pandemic-related programs that were ended by the court’s conservative majority, including an eviction moratorium and a requirement for vaccines or frequent testing in large workplaces.
What are the potential implications of the Supreme Court’s decision?
If the Supreme Court rejects the Biden plan, millions of Americans who have applied for student loan forgiveness will be left without relief. Loan payments that have been on hold since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic are supposed to resume no later than this summer. Without the loan relief promised by the Biden plan, delinquencies and defaults will likely surge, leaving many borrowers in financial distress.
The Supreme Court’s decision could also have broader implications for executive authority and the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government. If the court rules against the Biden administration, it could limit the ability of future presidents to use executive orders to implement policy changes without explicit approval from Congress.
The Supreme Court’s conservative majority seems poised to reject President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, raising questions about the administration’s authority to cancel federal student loans on such a broad scale. The decision could have significant implications for millions of Americans who have applied for relief and could also limit the ability of future presidents to use executive orders to implement policy changes. It remains to be seen how the court will rule, but the questioning in arguments lasting more than three hours suggests that the Biden plan may face an uphill battle.